What Red State Jews Tell Us About Ourselves — and Trump’s America

Since the November election, there’s been a lot of talk among journalists about the way our profession overlooked and misunderstood populist, pro-Trump America. It’s a challenge for us at the Forward, as well. That is why we are launching “Red State Jews.”

Our aim is to use all the platforms of the Forward — news, culture, opinion, Scribe, Schmooze, Sisterhood and Food — to tell stories and engage in conversation with the Jews who live in the states that voted for Donald Trump. Some of those Jews are Trump supporters, and we want to know why, and we want to hear from them as the new administration unfolds. Some of them didn’t vote for him, and we want to hear from them, too — about what it is like to live as a political minority in a polarized time.

And we want to share stories that go well beyond politics, to explore religious life, social trends, gun culture, the rural-urban divide and the rich traditions of diverse people living together.

This is not brand-new territory for us as a national news organization. Most recently, our year-long series “Our Promised Lands” featured stories from every state in the union. Now we hope to drill deeper and probe how the national political earthquake has affected Red State Jews and their communities.

Below you will find a fascinating, interactive map created by Laura E. Adkins, with a quick snapshot of data about Jews in each state. And below that you will see a list of each state that we have already recently covered — a list that we hope will grow through the year. With your help.

Your participation is essential to keep this project authentic. Please send us your ideas for stories, columns and writers.

Jane Eisner

In our exclusive interactive map below,

you’ll find in-depth data on Jewish communities and 2016 election results in each of our 50 states. Simply click on a state to view its associated data. Information on data collection and methodology are described at the bottom of this page.

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Arizona

Total Population: 6.8 million
Total Jewish Population: 106,225
Orthodox Congregations: 16
Conservative Congregations: 6
Reform Congregations: 16
Voted for Trump: 49.5%
Voted for Clinton: 45.4%


Arkansas

Total Population: 2.98 million
Total Jewish Population: 2,225
Orthodox Congregations: 1
Reform Congregations: 7
Voted for Trump: 60.4%
Voted for Clinton: 34.6%


Florida

Total Population: 20.3 million
Total Jewish Population: 654,860
Orthodox Congregations: 139
Conservative Congregations: 47
Reform Congregations: 57
Reconstructionist Congregations: 5
Voted for Trump: 49.1%
Voted for Clinton: 47.8%


Georgia

Total Population: 10.2 million
Total Jewish Population: 128,420
Orthodox Congregations: 18
Conservative Congregations: 11
Reform Congregations: 18
Reconstructionist Congregations: 1
Voted for Trump: 51.3%
Voted for Clinton: 45.6%

Idaho

Total Population: 1.7 million
Total Jewish Population: 2,125
Orthodox Congregations: 1
Reform Congregations: 1
Voted for Trump: 59.2%
Voted for Clinton: 27.6%


Indiana

Total Population: 6.6 million
Total Jewish Population: 17,020
Orthodox Congregations: 4
Conservative Congregations: 4
Reform Congregations: 16
Voted for Trump: 57.2%
Voted for Clinton: 37.9%


Louisiana

Total Population: 4.7 million
Total Jewish Population: 13,875
Orthodox Congregations: 4
Conservative Congregations: 2
Reform Congregations: 12
Voted for Trump: 58.1%
Voted for Clinton: 38.4%


Michigan

Total Population: 9.9 million
Total Jewish Population: 83,155
Orthodox Congregations: 21
Conservative Congregations: 8
Reform Congregations: 22
Reconstructionist Congregations: 4
Voted for Trump: 47.6%
Voted for Clinton: 47.3%


Missouri

Total Population: 6.0 million
Total Jewish Population: 64,275
Orthodox Congregations: 10
Conservative Congregations: 3
Reform Congregations: 14
Reconstructionist Congregations: 1
Voted for Trump: 57.1%
Voted for Clinton: 38.0%


Montana

Total Population: 1.03 million
Total Jewish Population: 1,450
Orthodox Congregations: 1
Reform Congregations: 6
Voted for Trump: 56.5%
Voted for Clinton: 36.0%


Ohio

Total Population: 11.6 million
Total Jewish Population: 147,715
Orthodox Congregations: 40
Conservative Congregations: 14
Reform Congregations: 35
Reconstructionist Congregations: 4
Voted for Trump: 52.1%
Voted for Clinton: 43.5%


Pennsylvania

Total Population: 12.8 million
Total Jewish Population: 291,140
Orthodox Congregations: 59
Conservative Congregations: 41
Reform Congregations: 46
Reconstructionist Congregations: 13
Voted for Trump: 48.8%
Voted for Clinton: 47.6%


South Dakota

Total Population: 858,469
Total Jewish Population: 250
Conservative Congregations: 1
Reform Congregations: 2
Voted for Trump: 61.5%
Voted for Clinton: 31.7%


Texas

Total Population: 27.5 million
Total Jewish Population: 160,505
Orthodox Congregations: 30
Conservative Congregations: 13
Reform Congregations: 36
Reconstructionist Congregations: 3
Voted for Trump: 52.6%
Voted for Clinton: 43.4%


Utah

Total Population: 3.0 million
Total Jewish Population: 5,650
Orthodox Congregations: 2
Reform Congregations: 2
Reconstructionist Congregations: 1
Voted for Trump: 45.9%
Voted for Clinton: 27.8%


Other Coverage of Red State Jews:

NOTES: States depicted on this map as “very red” or “very blue” are those which exhibited a higher than average voting percentage for Donald J. Trump or Hillary Clinton in November 2016 compared to other states whose electors voted for the same candidate (56.51% and 55.88%, respectively). For the purpose of this analysis, “adherents” for a particular denomination are defined as full members of a congregation, their children, and others who regularly attend services. Estimates for number of Jewish persons per state were calculated through an aggregation of random digit dial (RDD) procedures, Distinctive Jewish Name (DJN) studies, U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) local informant estimates, and internet estimates.

Jewish and general population data by state provided to the Forward on January 19, 2017 by Ira Sheskin and Arnold Dashefsky, authors of the forthcoming American Jewish Year Book 2016 (2015 version available for public download at the Berman Jewish Databank). Congregational data by state retrieved from the 2010 Religious Congregations and Membership Study conducted by representatives of the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies in The Association of Religion Data Archives on January 11, 2017. Election data by state retrieved from Politico 2016 Presidential Election Results on January 11, 2017.

Author

Laura E. Adkins

Laura E. Adkins

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s Deputy Opinion Editor and runs Scribe, the Forward’s Contributor Network. She holds a B.A. in Economics from NYU and grew up in Southwest Missouri. Contact Laura at adkins@forward.com, like her page on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

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